Dreger: Rangers ‘willing to consider just about anything’

With Kyle Dubas having been in New York to take in the Ranger-Flames affair Sunday, there was no doubt whatsoever that trade speculation would ensue.

Given that the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager has a key unsigned restricted free agent in William Nylander, fans are naturally curious about what should be gleaned from Dubas’s attendance of that game.

“Normally I don’t read too much because general managers do pro scout and check out other games,” noted Darren Dreger during an early Monday morning radio hit on Toronto’s TSN 1050. “But so do assistant general managers, and that’s what your pro scouting department is for. So when the general manager comes into the equation, more often than not he’s there with purpose, so he’s looking at something specific.

“Now, we don’t know if it’s the New York Rangers, even though the Rangers have been scouting the Toronto Maple Leafs as well, if there’s a connection there. I think general speculation suggests that they should or would be looking at a New York Ranger defenseman.

“I don’t know of that group who automatically is going to help the Leafs. And in saying that, of that group who’s available. I think the New York Rangers are willing to consider just about anything because they’re in the midst of a renovation as well. Up front, I know that they’d be interesting in trading a couple of centers - Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes is another one the New York Rangers would be willing to part with.

“And there is some history between the teams here. The Toronto Maple Leafs were kicking tires on a Rangers defenseman last year - I don’t know if it was McDonagh or who it was - Toronto wasn’t that deep in the negotiation with the Rangers, but there was dialogue. And it pretty much stopped when the Rangers asked for Kasperi Kapanen. So the Rangers wanted Kapanen. Toronto at that point last year said, ‘No, we’re not trading Kapanen.’

“Maybe they’re trying to get something going on that front.”

Dubas, for what it’s worth related to this particular conversation, has reportedly told inquiring teams on numerous occasions in recent weeks that he’s not interested in trading Nylander at this point.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly